An Incredible No Bake Chocolate Cake

An Incredible No Bake Chocolate Cake

I suspect this will be the easiest chocolate cake you'll ever make. And it's always a huge hit. It's the sort of easy dessert that is perfect for summer (and entertaining!) because you don't need to heat your oven. I think of it as a no bake chocolate cake, you wouldn't be far off calling it a slice-able truffle. Or, imagine an espresso-spiked, velvety, chocolate mousse you were able to cut into beautiful wedges. Sounds incredible, right? If you have ten minutes,  some dark chocolate, cream, and something to infuse the cream with, you're in business. I also have some non-dairy variations as well.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

When this Sort of Chocolate Cake is Perfect

This is the sort of thing I'll throw together if we're having friends over for dinner and I run out of steam on the dessert front. It's less trouble to make than it is to go out and buy something. A small slice really goes the distance. It's intense, it's hardcore chocolate. Paired with a touch of whipped cream (or whipped coconut cream) it's a total crowd-pleaser. I infused the cream used in the cake with espresso adn allspice in this version, but you could play it straight. Or take it in any direction you're inclined - there are dozens of great suggestions in the comments.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Choosing the Right Pan

This is a small but mighty chocolate cake. The choice of pan warrants a mention. You end up with with ~ two cups of batter, and for the most part you can pour that into any small-ish, parchment-lined cake pan you like. The parchment is important if you ever want to get the cake out of the pan. For this cake, I used a little loaf pan I like, but I've done this in small spring-form pans, and on occasion little tart pans. Just keep in mind, a bigger pan will mean a thinner slice. A small loaf pan like this yields a deeper slice, and so on. It's hard to screw up - I mean, it's a slice-able truffle cake. In the lead photo I've used a 6-inch springform pan. In the shot below, I've used a small loaf pan.

In a pinch - a number of you have mentioned that you simply pour the chocolate mixture into individual muffin tins, or dessert cups, allow it to set, and served this way. Brilliant! Less cake like, but I suspect no one will complain.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Variations

If you want to avoid heavy cream, there are a number of substitutions that work well. I love using cashew cream in place of the heavy cream called for in the recipe. Make cashew cream by combining 1 part cashew nuts + 1 part water and process in a high speed blender until silky smooth. No need to strain. Coconut milk also works nicely as a substitution.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Choosing the Right Chocolate

Because this cake is all about the chocolate, you don't want to skimp on quality. I've been using Guittard Organic 74% Bittersweet Chocolate Wafers for this cake. It works beautifully. I often use it straight, meaning, without the added espresso or allspice noted in the recipe. So it's just the beautiful chocolate notes coming through. San Francisco family-run chocolate represent! But, any good chocolate between 70% - 80% will work.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Finishing Touches

I like to bring a bit of extra flavor (and some pretty) with a dusting of cocoa powder, a few dried rose petals, and a sprinkling of cacao nibs. Others like to finish things of with a few berries. Generally speaking, if it pairs nicely with chocolate, go for it. A few toasted nuts, or crumbled cookies wouldn't be unwelcome.

No Bake Chocolate Cake

No Bake Chocolate Cake

3.76 from 158 votes

Ingredients
  • butter, to grease pan
  • 8 ounces / 225 g 70% chocolate, well chopped
  • 8 ounces / 225 g heavy cream, cashew cream, or full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground espresso (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
  • cocoa powder, to serve
  • optional other toppings: rose petals, cacao nibs
Instructions
Prepare your Pan
  1. Lightly butter a 6-inch / 15cm springform pan or equivalent. I typically use small loaf pans which are less common, but many small pans will work here (see main entry). Line with parchment paper and set aside.

Make the Cake
  1. Barely melt the chocolate in a double boiler over gentle heat.
  2. In a separate medium pan heat the cream over gentle heat. Stir in the allspice and the espresso, if using. When the cream is very warm / hot to the touch, remove from heat and stir in the salt.
  3. Pour the chocolate into the cream, and very slowly and steadily stir until everything comes together smoothly. Make sure the components aren't at all separate. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled throughout, a few hours, or overnight.

Serve the Cake
  1. When ready to serve, remove from the pan, let set at room temperature for ten minutes or so, dust with a bit of cocoa powder, sprinkle with any other toppings you like, and slice. Alternately, you can slice and serve from the pan.

Serves
12
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

I wonder if you could substitue coconut milk instead of heavy cream for a dairy free/vegan version of it? Anyone have experience with that? Heidi's Vegan Chocolate Amaretto Mousse is a favorite in my household and with guests.

Karen

Truffle cake? Sign me up. I'm all about avoiding the oven lately, and this cake looks rich, decadent, and absolutely delectable!

Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living

Great Cake! I was wondering if a bit of hot chili powder, in lieu of or in addition to the allspice, would work for a south of the border dessert menu?

jennywren

Looks incredible! i'm glad allspice is optional. While I think it would be delicious in the dish - I'm allergic. Thanks for another great post - the pictures are beautiful1

Well.....I am thinking, why not get a nice silver spoon and eat it!!! Sounds good to me. And with a wee bit o Bailey's too yummmmm

Beverlyjane

I am so making this! I love the espresso addition. In Romania we call this " Baton de ciocolata "

Heidi...once again you have made your fans happy. What a perfect way to end a meal.

Anonymous

This definitely looks intense! Beautiful photos, as always

branny

i have to make this now! if only stores weren't closed on sundays in germany. it looks absolutely divine. thank you for sharing such treats!

sasha gora

This is genius -- I love that it's gluten free, easy, and delicious. Again, your recipes make me swoon.

lauren@spicedplate

What a simple and elegant recipe!! I'm not much of a baker but this looks so easy I feel like even i can make it. My day yesterday was pretty lazy too -- I also slept in, ran a few errands and then spent the evening at an awesome dinner on University Ave in Palo Alto. Aren't those types of days the best? :)

No Sugar???? I a new to this kind of cake and plan on making it very soon.

Susan Calderon/Lunchsack

Yummmmmm!

Katie

if you accomplished nothing all day other than to make (and eat!) this chocolate cake, then it was a super productive day :) The cake looks stellar and I love how easy it is! Love how you said it's easier to make this cake than actually go out and buy a dessert. Yay for easy chocolate cake!

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

So great to see how a concept morphs into new ideas. . . .. layers, raspberries, nuts. All solidly sitting on a base recipe of slicable truffles. Possibilities are endless and the premise is genius. Will definitely use this idea. Thanks!

Cookie Maker

This looks like a heavenly (and sinfully!) way to top off our hot Tucson monsoony nights! Also, I loved seeing your ravioli salad in the big summer edition of Everyday Food!!! Gosh, I can say I've been reading your blog since way back when! Happy summer to you & your peeps!

Sina bo bina

It looks delicious! I was just wondering how to use up some of the cream I have left over in the fridge from making baked maple custards this weekend. Thanks for the recipe!

Roxy

i am intrigued by the allspice. i bet cardamon would pair nicely with the coffee infusion or even on it's own. any thoughts on green summer herbs for the infusion--lavender, thyme, or rosemary? thanks, as always!

Rupal in Brooklyn

I immediately thought it reminded me of a torte that had pistachios and tart dried cherries that I had many years ago and still think of. It was that good.

Alice

Looks delicious!!!!! let me just say: wowwwww!!!!!

VADEPAN

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